Distance Running Tips

The Kick and Mental Preparation

Being prepared  for all types of scenarios during a competition is part of proper preparation for athletes and coaches on the track.

Being physical ready and mentally ready for any challenge during a race comes from training various race tactics.

Races will come to down who has the best closing speed or who can hang on the longest after taking the lead.

Despite the methods used, the runner needs to believe they are prepared and can accomplish what is needed at the end of the race. Runners must have confidence from the training plan to go along with physical preparation.

Mental Readiness

Coach Alberto Salazar and Galen Rupp explain how the mental preparation and training the right way can lead to success.

Before the 2012 Olympic Games, Galen Rupp said “We’ve been working on my finishing speed a lot. You’ve just got to be ready to sprint and try to save as much energy as you can during the race so you can use it in the last little bit.”

Galen Rupp reflected after earning the Silver Medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in the 10,000 meter run:

“You always have doubts during a race. When those came up tonight, I just reminded myself of all the training I’ve done. We’d done a ton of speed work in the last weeks. I knew the speed was there.”

How does a coach like Alberto Salazar use speed training?

One of Alberto Salazar keys to success is year round speed work. During an interview with Runner’s World, Coach Salazar stated, “We do speed consistently year round. We never give the body anything that it’s not accustomed to. The body likes consistency. We always have some of it in the mix. We just use different intensities at different times of the year.”

3 Distance Running Tips For The Kick

Train for speed at least once a week year round- use short distance similar to the kick of a race (200-400 meters)

Use race tactics in smaller meets to force runners to learn how to kick in competition- go out slow and finish strong

Add sprint training drills and 100 meter build up sprints as part of the warm up and after the main workout


Train physical strength and mental toughness

Train speed and race tactics all year


Digital Track and Field
Digital Track and Field

Training tips and tutorials from top high school and college coaches. Free courses, articles, videos and memberships. Get your coaching breakthrough with Digital Track and Field.